Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Thank you for the medical alert system check reminder. I use one and did not realize that this change might affect its usability. Stock Image.WARREN – Residents in Warren County will soon be asked to use 10-digit dialing for local telephone calls. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) reminds residents and businesses in the current 814 area code, which covers all or parts of 27 counties across Central and Northwestern Pennsylvania, that voluntary 10-digit dialing for local telephone calls will begin on Saturday.The Commission says Saturday marks the next major step toward the arrival of a new “overlay” area code – 582 – which will eventually serve side-by-side with the current 814 area code. The 582 area code will be assigned to new telephone numbers once the available supply of numbers in the current 814 area code is exhausted.The use of an overlay area code preserves existing phone numbers for residents and businesses in the region, while also ensuring that a supply of new numbers will be available after 814 number combinations are no longer available. The biggest adjustment for residents and businesses across the region is the switch to “10-digit dialing,” where callers will be required to dial the area code plus the seven-digit telephone number for all calls. Mandatory 10-digit dialing will begin in the spring of 2021.To begin preparing for 10-digit dialing, consumers and businesses are encouraged to check devices that store telephone numbers – including cell phones and other devices with “speed dial” functions – to be certain that all the stored contacts include the area code. Moving forward, when adding any new numbers to those devices, be sure you include the area code.It is important to double-check devices like medical alertsystems, alarms, and any other systems that automaticallymake calls, to be certain they are set up for 10-digit dialing.Additionally, check devices that are programmed to automatically make phone calls – like medical alert systems, alarms and other automated systems – to be sure they are set up for 10-digit dialing.Devices that should be checked to verify they are configured for 10-digit dialing, include:Mobile phones, landline phones & tablets and fax machines that can save/store phone numbers.Life-safety & medical alert systems.Alarm/security systems and security gates.Call-forwarding settings & voicemail services.Internet dial-up systems.Automatic dialing equipment & software.Speed-dialers.Any other device that can save, store and automatically dial phone numbers.NOTE: If you have questions about the compatibility of or programming of a device, contact your equipment or service provider.To help consumers and businesses in the region adjust to the upcoming change, the PUC approved a timetable to implement the new overlay:October 3, 2020 – Residents and businesses are encouraged to voluntarily start 10-digit dialing for all calls in the 814 area code.April 3, 2021 – 10-digit dialing will be required for all calls.May 1, 2021 – The new overlay area code will be placed into service. (New area code numbers will not be assigned until available 814 numbers are exhausted)The 814 area code was established in 1947 and is one of Pennsylvania’s four original area codes. It includes cities such as Altoona, Erie, Johnstown and State College, and covers all or parts of 27 counties, including Armstrong (northeastern portion only); Bedford; Blair; Cambria; Cameron; Centre (majority of the county); Clarion (all except portions of west); Clearfield; Clinton (small portions); Crawford (all except southwestern portion); Elk; Erie; Fayette (small portions); Forest; Fulton (western portions); Huntingdon (except Kishacoquillas Valley); Indiana (northern and eastern portions only); Jefferson; McKean; Mercer (extreme northeastern portion); Mifflin (extreme southwestern corner); Potter; Somerset; Tioga (western portions only); Venango (all except southeastern corner); Warren; and Westmoreland (extreme northeastern corner only).814 is the largest area code in the state, geographically, and the only area that hasn’t already received an additional area code overlay to replenish its dwindling supply of phone numbers.The 582 area code designation was selected by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), Somos, Inc., the neutral third-party which administers telephone resources across the United States.